Media Reality Check

For more than two decades, the so-called mainstream media have preached the dangers of manmade global warming, insisting American businesses and consumers must make massive economic sacrifices to ward off a global climate catastrophe. Not even last November's exposure of e-mails from leading scientists on the alarmist side of the debate - showing them conniving to fudge or suppress data, discredit critics and distort the peer review process - has caused journalists to finally take a skeptical approach to radical environmentalists' doomsaying. A new study from the MRC's Business & Media Institute documents how ABC, CBS and NBC have been... continue reading
The end of Congress's long debate over ObamaCare could be near, as the President pushes for a final vote this week before his Asia trip, and House Democrats want a resolution before next week's Easter break. Yet whether or not liberals' dreams are ultimately realized, they have had a huge advantage throughout the process. Over the past twelve months, journalists have continually stacked the deck in favor of a big government takeover of health care. A review of the worst spin: ■ On March 1, 2009, previewing Obama's first White House meeting on health care, ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson championed... continue reading
Surveys over the past 30 years have consistently found top journalists are much more liberal than the rest of America. At the same time, public opinion polls show Americans see the media as politically biased, inaccurate and an obstacle to solving society's problems. The numbers document a credibility crisis for journalism that only a swift move towards professionalism and fairness can fix. The MRC has now created a one-stop online resource, " Media Bias 101 ," detailing more than 40 surveys revealing journalists' liberal opinions and the public's attitudes about bias. The report also contains page after page of quotes... continue reading
The controversy over Harry Reid's crack about Barack Obama's lack of a "Negro dialect" is apparently over, at least according to the broadcast networks. Although the story only broke Saturday afternoon, the last network news story aired Tuesday night on Nightline . An MRC analysis found that from Saturday to Tuesday the networks ran a combined 37 items on Reid's "Negro" remark, including interviews and panel discussions. Broadcast opinions were heavily skewed in Reid's favor: 71% of interview guests, soundbites or quoted sources were supportive of the Democrat, vs. 29% who were critical of Reid. It's an excellent case study... continue reading
Two weeks ago, unnamed whistleblowers exposed years of e-mails from scientists working at Britain's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The CRU's Web site describes it as "one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change," but the e-mails paint the CRU as more of a political "war room" for radical environmentalists. As Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby observed Wednesday : "Assuming the e-mails are genuine, they are nothing short of scandalous. They reveal celebrated climate scientists apparently conspiring to corrupt the peer-review process, to suppress or finesse temperature data at odds with global-warming alarmism,... continue reading
Big liberal protests, such as the Million Mom March (for gun control), the 2006 demonstrations in favor of illegal immigrants' "rights," and numerous anti-war marches all garnered heavy play and adoring coverage from the broadcast networks, cable news outlets, and big papers like the New York Times. So how did those news outlets react to Saturday's huge protest with conservative themes? MRC's analysts scrutinized the coverage; here's their report card: ■ ABC, CBS and NBC: The broadcast networks did not offer any pre-rally coverage before Saturday's protests, but offered decent coverage of the event itself. ABC's World News on Saturday... continue reading
The death of Edward Kennedy was undeniably a big political story, but the five days of intense media coverage also exposed how journalists see the Senator's ardent liberal agenda as an unquestionable good for America, not as controversial policies that fueled high-tax big government at the expense of the free market. Reporters painted Kennedy as Mother Teresa. "Over five decades, Ted Kennedy carried the torch passed on by his brothers, for civil rights, for the poor, and for the sick," CBS's Harry Smith opened The Early Sho w on August 26, just hours after Kennedy's passing. "For nearly half a... continue reading
When Cindy Sheehan arrives on Martha's Vineyard tomorrow (Tuesday), to protest against President Barack Obama , will the news media be as drawn to her as they were in the summer of 2005 when she was condemning George W. Bush? Last week, ABC anchor Charles Gibson declared " enough already " when asked on Chicago's WLS Radio about Sheehan's plan to travel to Obama's island vacation spot to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When she camped near Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch four years ago, that was hardly the view of Gibson and his colleagues. At the time, NBC's... continue reading
With President Obama and congressional liberals facing loud protests over their big government health care plan, journalists are casting the anti-ObamaCare forces as "ugly," "unruly," "nasty" mobs, with reporters presenting the most odious images (like pictures of Obama drawn as Hitler) as somehow representative. But when President George W. Bush faced left-wing protests, the media scrubbed their stories of radical voices and depicted demonstrators as mainstream, and even "prescient." In January 2003, all of the broadcast networks touted an anti-war march organized by the radical International ANSWER, an outgrowth of the communist Workers World Party. Signs at the rally read:... continue reading
ABC was embarrassed last week by the MRC's exposure of how their new senior medical editor, Dr. Richard Besser of the federal Centers for Disease Control, donated $400 to Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008, presumably an indication of his political sympathies. An ABC News spokeswoman, Cathie Levin, defended Besser to the Associated Press, arguing that he's a doctor "whose job it is to give impartial and unvarnished advice and he'll be able to do the same for a television audience." Maybe Besser can indeed separate his political views from his reporting on health care, but a review of campaign... continue reading